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I always know when CSA season starts: one of the first bags is going to hold rhubarb. Now for some of you that may be a feast, but rhubarb and me? We’ve got a strange relationship. I HATED it as a child while my mom loved it…
- Oak leaf lettuce
- Turnip tops (rapini)
- Plum tomatoes
Now as an adult I’ve eaten rhubarb several times and it really isn’t that bad. Still, my brain refuses to catch up! So each time I’m confronted with these reddish-pink stalks I go “uh-oh” and my mind goes blank.
Creamy Coconut Almond Tarts with Rhubarb
It was a relief to have family coming over for dinner on Sunday so I could use this veggie for dessert. I decided on the lovely Rhubarb-Coconut Tarts from Vegalicious because they look pretty and I had all the ingredients at hand except coconut flavouring. Of course I usually try out recipes before I serve them to guests… But I trust the Vegalicious website: earlier this year I made the vegan Spicy Applesauce Cake with Lemon Frosting for my birthday and it was a success.
Was I right to dare preparing these tartlets without practising first?
You’ve got to remember that I’m not my usual self right now. Actually, I’m a real scatterbrain these days: I can read a recipe ten times and still not pick up everything. That’s exactly what happened… AND — I’ve hit myself several times for this already — I forgot to make a photo of the end result!!! AAAAARGH! So here’s the only picture I took.
The base: oat-almond crusts. Looking good though, aren’t they? :)
What went ‘wrong’?
- The sharp-eyed reader may notice that something went wrong here right away. I was supposed to make the tarts in ramekins! I only discovered that when the crusts were good & ready to get ‘filled’ with coconut cream…
But you know what? I liked it this way! It’s like having a huge cookie on a plate with toppings. :)) So this will be a fixed alternation of the recipe from now on. ;)
- I was sure I had some wholemeal flour… but I didn’t. Just took regular flour and it was fine. But I do think wholemeal will be good!
- When I was supposed to be making sugar water to ‘cook’ the rhubarb in, I threw in the lemon juice with the sugar from the start… It turned out fine; rhubarb always has a bit of a tart taste, doesn’t it? ;)
My version of this dessert may not have been as pretty as the picture on Vegalicious. I peeled the rhubarb (I hate those stalk threads, don’t you?) and it lost its beautiful pink colour because of it. But you’ll have to trust my word on this — it looked delish! I put on a fresh mint leaf for garnish (as suggested) and threw over a pinch of cinnamon as the personal finishing touch. It tasted g-r-e-a-t: crunchy bottom, creamy and (not too) sweet middle layer and slightly sour rhubarb on top. Yum! We were unanimous in our verdict, including our omnivore guests.
So yes, next time I might plunge in at the deep end again and serve a new dish without trial! And this rhubarb recipe goes on the pile ‘For Keeps’.
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New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!
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Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!
That I don’t have many occasions these days — nor the energy — to make bentos, doesn’t mean I can resist the occasional splurge on nice gear! So when I saw this modern tumbler at Bento & Co during their Golden Week discount, it took me only seconds to click the right buttons. ;) I bet my fellow bentoïsts can relate?!
I’ve been wanting an insulated mug to bring along soup or noodles for ages, so I’m glad I can now cross that “WANT” off my list.
But I didn’t stop at that! Remember I’ve been doing without a picnic bento since my cute rabbit box broke during Hanami two years ago? What better than to get myself a real cherry blossom bento? I love my sakura, and I won’t say ‘No’ to a spray of gold-dust either. ;) Don’t you think this Hakoya box is lovely?
And then there’s the “OMG they killed Kenny!” bottle (a.k.a. Wallmug Sulo) that made me giggle. It can be used for either hot or cold drinks and the snazzy insulation jacket makes it weigh less than a thermos.
You can imagine that receiving these nice new stuffs made me eager to throw together a bento a.s.a.p. Well.. today’s the day! And heeeeeeere’s:
Pastel Bento (#142)
The tumbler contains pasta with black olives and white asparagus. I’ve made this recipe twice now, both when I had omnivore dinner guests coming over, and it certainly won’t be the last time. I microwaved the leftovers this morning and although the mug felt warm to the touch for quite sometime, I was a bit disappointed to find it had cooled down at lunchtime. I guess I’ll need an insulation bag to go with it. Or a microwave at the office. ;)
- Salad ingredients: oak-leaf lettuce, spring onion, radish & radish sprouts, parsley, croutons.
- Piece of corn on the cob.
- Rhubarb compote.
- Fruit dessert of pear and kiwi with coconut cream (you’ll be hearing more about that when I talk about rhubarb in another post).
- Pickled red onion.
I hope I’ll have another bento to share with you soon!
Find more bento lunches at Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday (week 52).
I’m pressed for time so I’ll just briefly log this week’s local organic vegetables, including a call for help: do you know what the greens below the rhubarb are called in English? In Dutch it’s raapsteeltjes, which would literally translate into… turnip stalks? :\
- swiss chard
- snow peas
- raapsteeltjes > turnip-tops
- red Batavia lettuce
- plum tomatoes
It was impossible to shoot a decent ‘solo’ picture of this week’s organic vegetables. I had locked out my feline friend Juno when I went to collect our veggie bag, so when I got back she was determined to stay in sight where ever I went and whatever I did. rest assured that she won’t be anyone’s dinner ;)
- Red Frills mustard
- Tree onion
- Turnip stems ? (raapsteeltjes)
It was fun to find something new among the loot, again :) When I say ‘new’ I really mean unfamiliar, since Amelis’Hof farm mainly grows traditional and often even ‘forgotten’ foods. Today’s treasure is ‘Red Frills mustard’ (mosterdblad) which can be used in salad, Indian saag or as garnish. I already had some in the Greek salad I ate for lunch; it’s nice and spicy.
The arugula went into a couscous dish last night with spinach, dried apricots and pine nuts. Next to it we had a salad of last week’s red Batavia, radishes and bundle garlic, tomato, egg, cucumber and a yoghurt-mustard dressing.
I’m not sure yet what to do with the rhubarb. I hated it as a child. In my heart head I still do, but I’ve tried it again and I know it’s not as horrible as I think it is. Maybe I’ll bake the rhubarb crumble that’s described in the leaflet accompanying the vegetables, or make some rhubarb oatmeal bars. They might provide a nice change for the Marmite cereal bars ;)
I guess I should start planning my menu for the week..!
Bento #51 was not only a good beginning of the next fifty (on the way to 100!), but also a great start of the week :)
I’ve been getting questions about preparation time. Well, this bento to me a relaxed 12 minutes in the morning! Could have been quicker if I had been in a hurry! :) Of course I’m only counting throwing in the quiche, not baking it LOL. I also had the steamed green beans ready to go and I cleaned my yellow tomatoes, radishes and a carrot the night before. Nothing I couldn’t have done in a sec this morning :)
Gnoe’s tip: did you know that steaming vegetables is so much quicker and healthier when you do it in the microwave? Do follow instructions though (LOL). It sounds obvious but I know a lot of people who don’t use the microwave for cooking veggies.
Well, I’ve already mentioned some of my bento’s content but here’s the complete list:
- yellow grape tomatoes
- red salad leaves
- spinach pie with blue cheese, leeks, pinenuts and black sesame seeds
- some cranberries
- walnut and hazelnuts
- carrot hiding under green beans
- garden cress
- and… mini rhubarb-raspberry crumble!
As you can see I tried to do something creative with the radishes :-o I had hoped the carefully peeled skin would ‘flower’ after I had put the veggies in some ice water but… it failed ;) And yes, that experiment took place within the before mentioned 12 minutes! ;)